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Windows 7: Program Files and Program Files (x86)


29 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, SP1
 
 
Program Files and Program Files (x86)

Home Premium Win 7 64-bit OEM

Just curious to understand why.....
Why is it that there is a Program Files and a Program Files (x86) in my system ?
I realize that the former is in reference to 64-bit OS. The latter is 32-bit.
I do notice that all the programs that I installed are in the (x86) file. Except CCleaners which somehow is in Program Files.

But, still don't see why 2 separate program files.
Or, in particular, why a (x86) file at all.

Thank you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jun 2011   #2
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

Program Files contains the programs which are 64 bit, and Program Files(x86) contains programs those are 32 bit .

As the most of your installed programs are 32 bit (usually... the same for me, too) they almost all are in the x86 folders; but the programs bundled with windows are 64 bit (like DVD maker, Microsoft Games, Windows Media Player, Sidebar etc) are contained in the Program Files folder .

Edit : There are two separate program files folders , to make 64 bit windows compatible to run 32 bit programs successfully .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Arc View Post
Program Files contains the programs which are 64 bit, and Program Files(x86) contains programs those are 32 bit .

As the most of your installed programs are 32 bit (usually... the same for me, too) they almost all are in the x86 folders; but the programs bundled with windows are 64 bit (like DVD maker, Microsoft Games, Windows Media Player, Sidebar etc) are contained in the Program Files folder .

Edit : There are two separate program files folders , to make 64 bit windows compatible to run 32 bit programs successfully .
I still fail to see the reason for a (x86) file.
As mentioned, my CCleaner file is in Program Files....
1. I did not have to select 64-bit version when I installed CCleaner.
2. I opened the CCleaner folder and there are 2 exe files.
CCleaner.exe and CCleaner64.exe
The former must be for 32-bit, and the latter is obvious.

My point : if CCleaner.exe can be stored in Program Files which is for 64-bit, then why not have all 32-bit programs stored there as well ?
Which comes back to my initial question .....
why Program Files (x86) is needed at all ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


29 Jun 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

If you download lets say firefox 64 bit it would be in program files. If you downloaded 32-bit it would be in program files(x86)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by t-4-2 View Post

I still fail to see the reason for a (x86) file.
As mentioned, my CCleaner file is in Program Files....
1. I did not have to select 64-bit version when I installed CCleaner.
2. I opened the CCleaner folder and there are 2 exe files.
CCleaner.exe and CCleaner64.exe
The former must be for 32-bit, and the latter is obvious.

My point : if CCleaner.exe can be stored in Program Files which is for 64-bit, then why not have all 32-bit programs stored there as well ?
Which comes back to my initial question .....
why Program Files (x86) is needed at all ?
Hello t-4-2,

That's because CCleaner is actually a 64-bit program when installed on a 64-bit Windows 7.

If you look in Task Manager (Shift+CTRL+ESC) under the Processes tab like below, you will notice that .exe files with *32 next to them are 32-bit programs. The ones without this are 64-bit programs.

Program Files and Program Files (x86)-task_manager.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2011   #6
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

Hi t-4-2 ... have you noticed that you have two versions of windows media player ( 32 bit and 64 bit) installed ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate - 64-bit | Windows 8 Pro - 64-bit
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by t-4-2 View Post

I still fail to see the reason for a (x86) file.
As mentioned, my CCleaner file is in Program Files....
1. I did not have to select 64-bit version when I installed CCleaner.
2. I opened the CCleaner folder and there are 2 exe files.
CCleaner.exe and CCleaner64.exe
The former must be for 32-bit, and the latter is obvious.

My point : if CCleaner.exe can be stored in Program Files which is for 64-bit, then why not have all 32-bit programs stored there as well ?
Which comes back to my initial question .....
why Program Files (x86) is needed at all ?
Hello t-4-2,

That's because CCleaner is actually a 64-bit program when installed on a 64-bit Windows 7.

If you look in Task Manager (Shift+CTRL+ESC) under the Processes tab like below, you will notice that .exe files with *32 next to them are 32-bit programs. The ones without this are 64-bit programs.

Attachment 162303
Thank you.
Yes, I never paid attention. I opened CCleaner, it did say 64-bit.
I have 2 entries with *32 appended.......
wlcomm.exe and wlmail.exe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Arc View Post
Hi t-4-2 ... have you noticed that you have two versions of windows media player ( 32 bit and 64 bit) installed ?
Yes, I have 2 wmplayer.exe files, one in each program files.
The one in 64-bit files has 164 KB.
The one in 32-bit files has 161 KB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2011   #10

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

The two Program Files location is only there for organization nothing more. You do not need to put 32-bit programs into Program Files (x86) or put 64-bit programs into the other. Its just there to help you differentiate between the two if you want to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Program Files and Program Files (x86)




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